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dtac Accelerates 700 MHz Rollout To Bring High-Speed For All
Feb 19. 2021
By THE NATIONFebruary 18, 2021 – dtac is ramping up the rollout of its low-band 700 MHz network to bring high-speed internet for all. The license for the new spectrum was acquired on 24 December 2020 and dtac turned on more than 2,400 sites within Q4, 2020. An aggressive rollout plan in 2021 includes targeting an additional 4,000 sites for Q1 alone followed by accelerated expansion throughout the year.
The 700 MHz spectrum will bring additional coverage both indoors and in rural areas, improving the customer experience significantly. This is in addition to constant additions to the dtac network in terms of speed and capacity. dtac added 3,000 base stations on the 2300 MHz spectrum (spectrum in partnership with NT or former TOT) in 2020, reaching a total of approximately 20,400 base stations. The total number of users on 4G is currently 12.2 million, accounting for 64 percent of the overall customer base.
Moreover, dtac successfully upgraded the network last year with 5G-ready massive MIMO technology on mid-band while launching 5G uses cases with industry partners on the 26 GHz band (high-band). The 700 MHz band thus complements dtac’s strong portfolio of low-, mid- and high-band spectrum.
Mr. Sharad Mehrotra, CEO of Total Access Communication PLC or dtac said, “With the rollout of 5G-ready massive MIMO technology last year and over 20,000 high-speed 4G TDD sites, we improved network capacity by three times, giving our customers the highest download speeds in Thailand. With the deployment of 700 MHz network, we will significantly improve coverage and speed nationwide and allow customers to enjoy more of our services.”
As part of the rollout, dtac is also introducing 5G services on 700 MHz band in six major cities: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phuket, and Surat Thani. dtac will be rapidly expanding 5G sites to other high-traffic areas across the country throughout 2021, catering to growing demand as more 5G devices become available in the market.
Moreover, dtac is deploying dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology with the 700 MHz network to enable both 5G and 4G services on the same band without bandwidth sharing and at optimal efficiency.
“We’re confident that dtac’s network improvements will deliver an exceptional experience for our users. They will also accelerate Thailand’s digital transformation. Our 5G journey started with initiating industry partnerships on the 26 GHz band, and now we add 5G on 700 MHz or low-band to continue exploring which use cases will benefit our customers and industry partners the most,” said Mr. Mehrotra.
5G on 700 MHz offers improved low-band capacity and innovative network features such as dedicated networks, lower latencies, and higher quality-of-service guarantees. Through these features, dtac will continue to explore opportunities for commercial, industrial, and public interest use cases with various partners in the fields of smart cities, smart farming, smart energy, smart security, and more.
Currently, 41 models of Android and iOS mobile devices support 700 MHz 5G service with 175 models supporting 700 MHz 4G. Many upcoming smartphones will also support 700 MHz 5G and 4G services. Users can check for 700 MHz band-compatible mobile devices and coverage at http://www.dtac.co.th/network